Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
For many years osteoarthritis has been thought to be solely a by-product of aging. Today, this is not the case. Many individuals suffer with osteoarthritis at a relatively young age, and at the same time many older individuals suffer very little from osteoarthritis. So what causes osteoarthritis? If it’s not solely due to aging, which you can’t avoid, then some other cause may be able to be prevented.
Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Today I would like to mention a few more tips you can utilize at home in order to prevent falls. The post “Get Grandma Out of Her Chair” began this discussion and highlighted the significance of falls in the elderly. The previous post of this series mentioned several tips you can use in your home to prevent falls. I would like to expand on the tips by mentioning a few mental changes that need to be made.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
In the last two posts we began the discussion on proprioception and balance, and how they are affected as we age. Particularly, the startling fact that the mortality rate after suffering from a fracture due to a fall is quite significant. In the last post we discussed exercises that can help you improve your balance and proprioception. What I want to do for you today is give you tips on how you can decrease the chance for falls in your home. These are tips that should be utilized in the home of someone who is struggling with balance and proprioception, and also in the homes of their loved ones they visit.
Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Balance and proprioception are huge problems among our aging population. I began the discussion on this topic in the last post about the possibility of utilizing barefoot shoes to improve your balance. We also discussed how life threatening poor balance can be. I would like to mention simple exercises you can get your parent, grandparent, or yourself to do to improve balance and proprioception in order to prevent life altering fractures from falls.
It is a good idea to have someone present as a supervisor for these exercises when they are first attempted as a safety precaution. Always keep something stable next to you (wall, chair, counter) so you can catch yourself if you lose your balance. Some of these exercises may seem very simple, but for many individuals they are very difficult. Begin with the easiest exercises first until a good basis for the level of balance and proprioception is established.
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
It is a well known and apparent fact that as we age we begin to lose our ability to balance and maintain our stability. Many of the fractures in the elderly population occur after a fall which could have been prevented if the individual’s balance was better. There are some physiological reasons for this decline in stability that can not be prevented, but there are many things individuals can do to minimize this side effect of aging. One’s quality and length of life are severely altered after a fracture. A study found the 1 year mortality rate to be 21% after a hip fracture. I would not want to roll the dice with those kind of odds. A few years ago my wife’s grandmother fractured her hip. Fortunately she beat the odds, but her quality of life was dramatically altered after the incident. Take proper measures now to ensure you or a loved one do not become part of the statistics.